By: Adeosun Moses
Health is wealth some say, while some believe wealth losses its significance if it can’t buy good health but we all can agree that to some extent to procure good health in these times and seasons one needs a considerable amount of money to get could health and this is the greatest known cause of Self-Medication.
Self-Medication is simply the act of prescribing drugs, diets, and other medications to oneself or others without an expert prescription. Causes of self-medication could be influenced by others in the environment, previous experience with the signs and symptoms one presently feels and lack of money to access medical professionals, the unorganized system we are in where you could get a drug from the chemist counter without a professional description and the last cause could be ignorance; simply not knowing that the demerits of self-medication outweigh the supposed merit. Well, the supposed merit is that self-medication is cheaper and medications are easy to get.
However, the demerits of self-medication are so many and I will like to discuss some with you, to remove the barrier of ignorance even though ignorance they say is not tenable as an excuse.
SELF-MEDICATION AND ITS DEMERITS
- Some sicknesses have similar symptoms: They are so many sicknesses and diseases that have similar symptoms, and a symptom can code for many infirmities. For example, high temperature, cold, headache, and fever are common symptoms of a variety of sicknesses, and that a doctor diagnosed you with, but these symptoms could be affiliated with the plasmodium parasite which causes malaria. Hence the reason to go to hospitals and get ourselves checked and medications are given according to the test results and why we should not self–medicate because of previous experience.
Furthermore, most terminal sicknesses are often manageable if detected early but unfortunately, their early stages have signs and symptoms that are common to so many other sicknesses. Self-medication had made many treat terminal sicknesses like common fever, only to discover when it is too late that what they are combating is something grave. They may lose their lives to self-medication in the process. Moreover, a stitch in time saves nine, and a professional examination, prescription, and treatment save one from the grave consequences of self-medication.
- The difference in body biology: It is important to note that tests are not just done to ascertain the cause of a disease condition but to also note the best approach to treatment. This implies that a drug worked well in a particular dosage for a neighbor or friend does not mean it would work so well at that same dosage for another. Subtle differences in weight, immunity, the way the body reacts to certain substances, history of sicknesses, severity or stage of illness, allergy, age, gender, or whether one is pregnant or not could cause a Medical Doctor to give different prescriptions to two patients suffering the same symptom and even if they had been tested to have the same sicknesses. The difference could be in dosage, type and family of drug or even the route of administration and that’s why you don’t self-medicate based on a neighbor’s experience. The implication is simply that self-medication does not bring all these differences in the biology of persons to view and hence one could be harming oneself while trying to heal.
- Drug- Antibiotics resistance: Causative organisms for sicknesses and diseases like bacteria and fungi form resistance to repeatedly used drugs and hence those drugs at a time do not perform the effects they should perform in the body. A recent example is Chloroquine which has lost its relevance in treating malaria. At the time, Chloroquine was like the potent chief priest that cures anything malaria or malaria-like. It was simply the go-to drug against symptoms of malaria, but due to abuses and constant self-medication, plasmodium metamorphosed to be resistant to the effects of this drug as a survival mechanism and hence constant self-medication causes drugs to eventually lose their potency over time.
In conclusion, self-medication could look bright today, saving some bucks. It could save you from expending some cortisol due to the stress of going to the hospital, and the stress of doctors or other health professionals. But in the long run, just shortly, one would realize he or she had been harming himself or herself innocently. Next time when you are feeling sick, stand up visit the nearest clinic or hospital, see the doctor, and be treated by a professional then you will be safe now and even in the future against any complications. Even when you are feeling one kind of complication, you will know where to go back to. Stay safe and do not self medicate.